Free Video Reading by Novelist

Novelist gives free reading

There you go, it’s that simple.  Drop me a line to let me know what you think, or read and review the book.

In the event that you got miffed over the use of the word ‘mulatto’ please read my blog post about why I did not choose the word ‘biracial’ to describe the lead male character in the novel The Children of Loki.

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Blog Blog Bling 2019

Connecting Online Again

Once again, I have experienced online connections that are entirely real, and mutual.  This has happened within the past 48 hours.

During that same time period I have also watched videos online that made me feel connected but really just cause me to participate in the freebie portion of a complicated advertisement.

Today, I have looked at my WordPress “Stats” and have found that most likely, the underlying causes for the downward change are the following: 1) a few days went by without my blogging new posts.  2) I didn’t spend at least 30 minutes reading other bloggers posts at WordPress.

In-system versus Domains

Wealthy Affiliate

Many of you know what is going on, but some may not have yet noticed.  What we get depends a lot on who we know, how much we can afford to spend and what kinds of things we spend on.  Thanks to this, millions of us have access to free or extremely low cost websites and blogging technologies, but there is a caveat: the freebie versions are normally limited to ‘in system’.

I most noticed this in-system versus domain name difference when I belonged to Wealthy Affiliate.  I joined there to get a free website and to market my own products (books and ghostwriting services).  There was an opportunity to learn about affiliate marketing.  I was not honestly interested in that, but as that was most likely the real motivation behind the organization, I went ahead and learned about it.  In truth, I tried it at my website.

All the business for my own interests that I found when using Wealthy Affiliate, was other members of Wealthy Affiliate hiring me to help them improve their websites by paying me to ghostwrite web content or to edit their website content or writing papers related to their business websites.

So far, I have tried Wealthy Affiliate twice.  The first time, I did earn significantly more than the membership cost me, but nothing like what a real, supportive full time job or good husband (yes, I have female bias due to being female) but the second time I lost money.  In one case, I earned about $0.70 from the “affiliate marketing”.  In the other case, I didn’t make money any better from that than I did from selling my own products and services via the same website.

The people who were members came across as very pleasantly friendly.  It was fairly easy to connect with them online and sharing information was smooth.

There was a large contingent of us who were dealing with websites that were low-cost but were only even functioning within the realm of the Wealthy Affiliate zone.

It was possible to free ourselves of that situation, but it required spending a lot more money.  Given that our need was to earn money, a lot of us got sort of locked in or ‘locked down’ at that stage of the process.

SBPRA

SBPRA is the publishing company of both of the novels that I have released so far.  They have provided author websites that can be accessed from the outside but both have their name on them still.  I have had to both spend more money and have had to learn in an effort to even get the website to function beyond ‘in system’.

I have mixed feelings about SBPRA.  I am very happy that they did or claimed to have accepted my manuscripts entirely because they are good enough and not because they are self-publishers who don’t care whether or not it is good as long as I will spend.  I am very grateful and happy that they have helped me to get respectable quality bound novels with good covers.  I am grateful that they provided me with a literary agent for one year for my first novel.

I am aware that really don’t have a good reputation, so much so, that they can be found on Writer Beware.  I realize that it is both true that innovation which threatens the status quo can get a ‘bad rap’ and it is also true that often a bad reputation develops as a direct consequence of bad practices.  SBPRA tried to charge me fees for services which a traditional publisher would provide me with at no fee.  Instead of paying me, the author, for the privilege of publishing my book, they did not.  However, they did grant me a nonexclusive publishing contract; they have produced respectable copies of the novels.  They have provided websites.  They have offered other services to support the work.  In my view this is much worse than the kind of publishing deal that I would like and vastly superior to what the situation would be like had I been limited to self-publishing.  It is that another publishing company did pick up one of my novels in another variation of deals that are horrible compared to excellent publishing deals and great compared to “shark tank victimization” deals.  The other publishing company offered to publish at both no fee and no pay out to me of an advance….in an exclusive contract but then didn’t release the book within the year and a half that they had the book.  They did get the cover together during that time.

The websites had an ‘in system’ look about them, but I have spent on a domain name so they hopefully won’t have this kind of problem.

WordPress

Here we are at WordPress, having our blogs.  We can spend enough to make it so that our blogs won’t be limited to having an ‘in system’ type of circulation.  It could be argued that WordPress has tacitly told us that as long as we promote WordPress using their logo on our blogs they will let us blog without spending a lot more money but society has also told us that we may be frowned upon as being insufficiently professional in approach and online appearance, unless we operate without these other organization’s labels.

You (plural) i.e. You all

I’d love to read responses or comments from any of you about this.  Is this a great topic or does it seem too elementary: intro to use of the Internet for business?

Have you (plural) had the same kinds of experiences?  How have you overcome these challenges?

Spiritual Tidbits 4

WTF?!

It’s true: one of my novels is about mercenaries in outer space and yet, I want to write a little something more about spiritual matters.  Hm, maybe how they tie in?

In truth, moral knowledge and methodologies are a theme throughout the novel The Children of Loki my male pen name Robert Fitzgerald Jr.  Two deities are mentioned in the novel: Loki and Jesus.  Obviously, prior to the Christianization of so many nations that wouldn’t have made any sense, but in Christian nations where children grow up reading Thor and Iron Man comics and are reintroduced to Loki as the Marvel Comic villain it is less whacky.

The novel is not a religious story per se, so those who believe themselves to not be interested don’t need to run away from it but if people are religious and search for signs or undertones, they are there.

Morality & Ethics

Ethics is what morality is called in a secular atmosphere.  Ethics is sometimes also what religion would look like to people who don’t believe in any personal, or real God but have figured out that when humans are compassionate and help each other out it can make the world a better place.

Morality is a motivational force for both of the main characters: Gezka FaucMerz and  Kiel Bronson.  Both are heavily enculturated and differently so for more reasons than just gender.  What they do to each other and how and why is integrated with the plot and character development.  The characters’ points of view are deeply affected by what they consider right and wrong.

Strangely enough

Like so many of you, between parents and religious education I developed to a point where I often felt that I knew right from wrong.  Perhaps like some of you, I also ran into times when I wasn’t so sure.  To my own astonishment, when I took an MBA course in 2009 called Business Ethics, I was shocked to discover that prior to the course, I honestly only “right from wrong in business” 50% of the time.

Freaky, I mean that is not very often for someone over 30 years old, let alone over 40.  Well, you know how they say that sometimes the best one can do is to realize that one lacks knowledge or awareness about something and seek out experts.

Given that I have done some business stuff as a self-employed person I found it frightening only because I wish to do business with high moral standards for my business operations.  I have endeavored to whenever I conduct business, but having learned about my own ignorance it made me feel I could use a mentor.

Back to religion

In reality, proper use of clergy includes being able to get moral insights and assistance.  For those of you who have strong ties with clerics, this may seem like a bland answer that you have heard a million times already.

In my own life, I have usually attended church very regularly.  Despite that, for more than 2 decades, I had very little direct contact with the cleric aside from listening to the sermon.

Since then, it has grown in my awareness that there are ‘right ways’ to make use of the clerics of one’s church over and above listening to their sermons.

That’s it

For today, I think that’s all I’m going to blog about it.

Spiritual Book Promo with Chat

Without Rival video

Who the heck is that lady?

Lisa Bevere, during her 50s often unapologetically refers to herself as a Sicilian grandmother.  She is a rather famous Protestant Christian preacher.  She’s American.  She is a wife, a mother and a grandmother.  She has also written a number of books, specializing in Christian inspirational nonfiction.

Writers Again

Because of that, she could call herself a writer and an author without lying.  I don’t know whether or not she thinks of herself that way.

Book Promotions

This means that Lisa Bevere is dealing with book promotion, just like all the other authors.  Like all the other authors, she has a unique way of doing it, but despite the uniqueness, a great deal goes on that is just like all the other book marketing that really works.

Factoids

There is a lot of public speaking involved during which she is the one doing the talking.

There is a significant amount of travel involved with the position.

There was a lot of money poured into the speaking, traveling and other marketing, but that means that all that money now also needs to be brought back in just to break even on the books.  Because she does a lot of preaching, it is theoretically possible that she has saved massive amounts of money on publicity by being allowed to promote her books right along with a series of public speaking engagements (preaching for God in her case) that may be supported financially by the churches who would have had her come and speak had she not written the book….but if they did not let her mention the book, the value of those efforts as book promotion would plummet, but not be totally destroyed.  I do not know if it is that, or if the publishing company just fronted the money for the promotions.

Desires

Like all the other writers, I desire certain kinds of support and outcomes.  The kind of publishing company and publishing contract is tied up in professional desires; aspirations as desires.

Recently, right here online, I have discovered another slew of fellow-authors who are also, often, dealing with trying to promote their work, my work, your work despite smaller budgets and publishing contracts that aren’t “the dream book contract”.

The reality of every profession is more complicated than it seems on the surface and from the outside.  Writing and publishing abide by that same principle.

Writer, Reader, check it out:

I invite you to check out works listing with links to buy .

Unlike many authors, the main editor of both my novels and the little nonfiction philosophy booklet was actually me too.   My works are not all the same genre.  They were not all put out by the same publishing company.

None of them had more than $50,000 put in up front by a publishing company and none of the publishers provided me with any marketing budget whatsoever.

There are other authors around.  You know how it is: in a bookstore, library or online writers group it starts to seem like everyone writes books.  The other day I was reminded by another woman, that not everyone does.

Most of the readers don’t also write books, but some do or will someday.

Pop Art Chat: Music

During the decades, like most people, I developed a love for music.  I like various kinds of music but my favorites are: rock, orchestral music and pop music.

Here are some of my favorites:

In the English language rock category I have to mention U2 and Rush.  While I confess to not being as intense of a their fan as I was when I was an adolescent both these bands have produced music that I truly really like during the past 5 years, even though I became a fan way way back in the 1980s.

German language rock category: Kraft Klub

English language metal-rock: I know this is old news, but Disturbed and Godsmack are my favorite 21st century newly discovered metal bands.  I’m not a metal head either; at least, I don’t think of myself that way.  In truth, I’m not sure that any of the band’s members are either but that’s what they do that seems to bring them in the most money.  It may or may not be what any of them like the best.

Symphonic / Classical – Instrumental

Amazing as it is, I have heard of and even own some of Yo Yo Ma.

Another one of my favorites is the adult daughter protégé of a famous Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar: Anoushka Shankar.

At this point, I wish to point out 2 other musicians specialized in one instrument as their expertise that I particularly like:  neither are American.  I have no idea of whether or not they speak much of any English but as their works are purely instrumental it doesn’t matter so much:  Mitsuko Uchida’s Schubert Piano Sonatas, and Nikolaj Znaider‘s Bravo!

For classical symphonic music, I am fond of Mozart and Beethoven, possibly the most.  Normally, however common my senses are, I tend to trust the major urban philharmonic orchestras to competently play the music of those composers to my satisfaction.

General Information

I’ve always loved music, and like most of my generation grew up listening to a lot of radio broadcasts.  My father made sure I heard plenty of classical music, and my sister preferred classical and folk music.  I have fairly broad tastes, but due to the thematic genre nature of commercial radio stations and my generation I mostly listened to forms of rock-n-roll.

Of the old stuff, I do appreciate Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley.  I love the work that Cream did in just 2 years; I admire The Doors, Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Hendrix.  I liked lots more than those, including, of course, The Beatles (that should just go without saying; that’s how great they were.  In all seriousness, I loved them and even like the Monkeys/Monkees).

Of newer old stuff:  Eurythmics, Annie Lennox, David Bowie.  I got into that Flock of Seagulls song, and enjoyed a high volume of “one hit wonders” throughout the years.  I loved the B52s and even the Go Go Girls.  As a grown woman I learned to enjoy Peter Murphy and the Cure.  I even like Elvis Costello and the Talking Heads. Oasis is one of the few 90s bands that I managed to notice.

Like everyone else, there have been so many more bands who put out at least some song or two that I liked but this gives you a good general idea.

This is mainly opinion and is just sharing some of my musical preferences with you all.  You can decide how much or how little that tells you about me.

German Stereotypes

Kraft Klub (German band)

For foreigners

Germans are well aware that foreigners have tendencies to see them in certain ways.  Which region of the world they are dealing with has some influence of how they are seen.

They know that people to the West of Germany, especially French and English speaking peoples tend to jump to certain conclusions.  Some right, others wrong.

  1.  Germans are frightening powerful yet unpleasant and speak a difficult language that native speakers of English wouldn’t wish upon their worst enemies….except maybe the Germans (ha ha ?)
  2.  NaZi ism.  This is related to item #1, but also involves the perpetuation in the USA at least where there are very old Jewish people who’s native language is either German or Polish, who have American grandchildren.  They moved due to the NaZi Party.

3. Still related: in the USA for propaganda reasons, the vast majority of information        that Americans get about the Germans and the German language is WW2 re-runs.  Due to this most Americans only know a few German words they learned while watching WW2 related documentaries or TV shows or movies.

4.  Frau und frauline:  Germany is full of happy, blonde women with large breasts who serve beer for a living, at least until they get married and have children.

There are people who have a more current image of Germany.  In 2012 it was rated the most popular European country, internationally.

True Stuff about Germans

They can be rather serious, mostly because the Summer is not that warm and people can be hard.   German is not that easy to speak but when German there is no choice if one hopes to get anywhere in life.

Germans do tend to be proud but sometimes also uniquely sensitive.  They know that if they were not so great and powerful they would not be and have been so dominant in Europe both in peace time and in war time.  They know that both North American nations and the Russians viewed them as “the Villain” in 2 world wars.  Because of what they have been through as a people, they also feel that the nation degenerated to having been a menace for awhile….but Germans and what is Germany is really much more complicated….Given that the modern “German state” is about 120 years old, but there have been German speaking people living in the same region for 2000 years and more.  In fact, the “First Reich” really was 1000 years of Germany being a Catholic Empire and simultaneously the remainder of the Western Roman Empire.  *Personally, despite having learned this I find it hard to break through the American-Hollywood images of the Romans and of the Germans to accept this basic truth.

Germans have poor sense of humor.  Well, they don’t have the gentlest or most consistent senses of humor but I can assure you that they are less likely to laugh at jokes in English when travelling outside of Germany and dealing with using their “holiday English”.   I’m sure there are numerous incidents in which some German didn’t get the joke.

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Photo by Ingo Joseph on Pexels.com

Pet Guilt

Today’s Guilt

Today, the cats are guilty of: trying to break and enter my room, getting into my stuff in my room, going up onto the fireplace mantle piece, and hanging out for way longer than necessary on the kitchen table instead of rapidly proceeding into the acceptable location of the window sill.

 

We have pets

Some animals live at the same residence as myself.  The wild ones which scurry across the roof.  Thanks to dominance, some squirrel and his privileged relations have excellent access to a bird feeder in the back yard.  Others hope for openings, and scramble to pick up what’s fallen from the feeder “catch as catch can”.  Those aren’t pets.  I know you know that, but it was worth pointing out for a reason.

There are these 2 female cats who live where I also have some private and shared spaces.  One is like a 30something and the other is more like a 20something.  They only get along some of the time, which has been a cause of significant stress to both of them.  Aside from their species, what really clues us into their pet situation is that they have the privilege of demanding or requesting food and water or to have their potty cleaned out.  They almost never scurry across the roof and generally can’t get to the bird feeders, and might be punished if they try.

Meanwhile, there is also a flock of sparrows that live in intimate association with the residence, who are not surprisingly, not pets.   Many of them live in a manner that I slowly began to realize was probably a sort of culture.  I think they are a tribe, in all seriousness, a group of 3 to 7 small families with cousins and granduncles and grandmother birds all dealing with have effectively dominated the two or three major trees surrounding the house and maintaining almost exclusive access to the bird feeder in the front lawn.

When it isn’t the squirrels scuttling across the roof, it’s ‘them’, flapping and fluttering, often at least 5 launching into flight at the same time, warning a young one about the resident humans or traffic passing in the street.

There is also a dog, who is a pet.  It’s frightening, when I think about human economics and social status etc.. in terms of how the dog, like the cats and unlike the sparrows and squirrels, has a provider human who will get him special medical care and flea collars, as well as toys obviously made by humans.

 

Their Guilt

The dog’s guilt is normally rather subtle: he’s really a well behaved short haired dog.  He’s rarely guilty of anything other than begging for table scraps or asking for cheese between meal times.

The cats are really incredibly guilty, but all in the usual feline ways.  They get onto the tables and counter tops.

Relevant aside

One day I had an epiphany during which it became clear that it is definitely true that I don’t like flies putting their feet right where I want to put my lips to drink a beverage.

Back to cat guilt

The cats are also guilty of having spats amongst themselves.  They do occasionally just knock stuff off of counters and are guilty in other ways already seen on Facebook in videos.  So far, the 2 ladies here have not become so upset that they claw the toilet paper.

Due to this the concept and phrase “Pet guilt” has become part of my ordinary waking consciousness.

I have become inconsistent about chastising the cats for getting onto the tables while I am home, and they react inconsistently as well: some of the time, leaping from the table at the sight of me and other times hanging out up there brazenly walking up to me and peering at whatever I’m doing.

I feel the way anyone would who writes to “an agony Aunt”, and am only relieved that these are “minis”.